Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads, no word policy on anti-vax posts

Grant Boone
October 15, 2020

Facebook has chose to ban ads on its platform that discourage vaccinations, whereas advocacy ads about government vaccine policies will still run.

"To help, we'll be directing people to general information about the flu vaccine and how to get it, including the nearest location to get the vaccine in the U.S.", they added.

There are still ads by pages like "Texans For Vaccine Choice" now running on Facebook.

The Guardian noted that several ads discouraging vaccine mandates remained on the platform as of Tuesday.

"We'll be directing people to general information about the flu vaccine and how to get it, including the nearest location to get the vaccine in the USA using our Preventive Health Tool", said Facebook. But the blog mentions that the enforcement will take a few days. Recently, the company announced a ban on Holocaust denialism, groups promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory, and a ban on political ads indefinitely after the November 3 election.

Facebook will not show any advertisements that "discourage" getting vaccinated, the tech giant announced on Tuesday.

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The social media conglomerate has already banned ads about vaccine "hoaxes" like vaccination causes autism and so on.

Meanwhile, the company also announced that it will work with WHO and UNICEF on public health messaging campaigns to increase immunisation rates. The company, however, didn't say anything about taking down posts by regular users hat spread rumours about vaccines and other anti-vax conspiracies.

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years.

And the number of applications for vaccine exemptions rose in the year 2017-2018 in the United States for the third year in a row.

In 2019, the World Health Organization declared "vaccine hesitancy" as a public health threat. These will still be allowed if they adhere to the policy of being authorized and also are transparent regarding who is paying for the ad.

"There's been a lot of anti-science, anti-public health framing of the pandemic in recent times", Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist and senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in a statement.

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